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 Post subject: Tamping Tender Water
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:44 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2080
Never heard of this till this just came down the email "pipe"

after filling the tender to use your foot or a tool to ripple, slosh, wobble whatever the water around to fill in the crannies around the tender, I would presume during filling there may be bubbled areas or oddball places water didnt get to and this would slosh the water into those areas then do a final water fill, just -that- much more water to get to the next fill.

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Friends,

I'm trying to update some research -

Copied below is info gleaned from this list over 15 years ago regarding the art of filling a steam locomotive tender with water and getting the tank full enough to make the next water plug down the line. The info below is invaluable to be sure, but in the 15 or so years that have passed since it was last discussed, I'm wondering if perhaps more info is out there waiting to see the light of day? If so, I would be delighted if it could be shared with all of us.

Thanks,

Keith-


there's more to the post but I just want to run this past everyone else.


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 Post subject: Re: Tamping Tender Water
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:21 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:40 am
Posts: 69
Location: Chama, NM
Actually, the preferred method of doing this is to step into the tender hatch with both feet and jump up and down vigorously. The trick is to make room for more water than the fireman displaces/soaks up during this process. Then fill the tender again to the brim.

Seriously, I have heard of firemen who advocate filling the tank, letting the air bubbles escape, then topping the tank up a final time. I figure that if the few gallons you may gain doing this makes the difference of making it to the next water tank or not, you either need a bigger tender or more frequent water stops.

There are legendary stories and jokes of firemen trying the first method. Was the original question posted on April 1st?


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 Post subject: Re: Tamping Tender Water
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:41 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1241
Location: Strasburg, PA
Russ Fischer wrote:
Actually, the preferred method of doing this is to step into the tender hatch with both feet and jump up and down vigorously.

We had a fireman who would lower himself into the tender up to his shoulders on a hot day, but that was for his personal comfort, not to jam more water into the corners.

If the question was asked seriously, I'd say that the more you jammed into the tender, the more that will slosh out on the first hard coupling, quick stop or rough spot (the tops of tender tanks aren't often maintained water tight). If you need an extra ten gallons to get to the next tower, you should probably inject it into the boiler while the tender is still filling. It won't end up on the ground that way.

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 Post subject: Re: Tamping Tender Water
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:53 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:58 am
Posts: 53
The Sacramento & Placerville had a branch that served the quarry at Folsom Prison. Two prisoners tried to escape by hiding in the tender tank. They came forth sputtering when the locomotive took on water at Folsom. No tamping required.


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 Post subject: Re: Tamping Tender Water
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:19 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2080
no to the April first, as there are several posts following, but didnt copy the dates over.
It came over the Milwaukee road group, obviously with lots of engines and a slowly economically tugged line you may not be able to swap/get bigger tenders and you may have already have your water fillup points placed. I may post the rest of the thread later.


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 Post subject: Re: Tamping Tender Water
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:29 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 909
Hi,

This is an interesting topic. Most tenders have interior baffles to keep water from surging forward or backward. IIRC, the baffles had staggered openings and were open on top and bottom to allow water to flow but not surge.

If the baffles were replaced by someone who did not know how to do the job properly, they might have closed the top of an interior baffle with almost an air tight/water tight closure.

If this is so, then "Tamping" water to force the air bubble out of the baffled region would seem prudent for 100 gallons or more.

Hard to say. plausible but not probable.

Doug vV


Last edited by Dougvv on Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tamping Tender Water
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:34 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:47 pm
Posts: 71
Location: Arizona
Russ Fischer wrote:
Actually, the preferred method of doing this is to step into the tender hatch with both feet and jump up and down vigorously. The trick is to make room for more water than the fireman displaces/soaks up during this process. Then fill the tender again to the brim.

Seriously, I have heard of firemen who advocate filling the tank, letting the air bubbles escape, then topping the tank up a final time. I figure that if the few gallons you may gain doing this makes the difference of making it to the next water tank or not, you either need a bigger tender or more frequent water stops.

There are legendary stories and jokes of firemen trying the first method. Was the original question posted on April 1st?


Yes!!! The original story was from Gilbert Lathrop's "Little Engines & Big Men". Some old hoghead used to tell his fireman to fill the tank, let it settle, the top it off again. Repeat 2 or 3 times. Every time the fireman got back in the cab, the old guy would say "you fill her up?", "yep", "let her settle?", "yep", "fill her up again?", "yep", "good, lets go"....

One day, after filling the tank, the fireman stumbled and fell into the full tender. Looking like a drowned rat, he climbed back in the cab. The usual conversation was started....

"You fill her up?"
"yep"
"let her settle?"
"yep" with a pissed off tone in he voice,
"Well if you did that, I don't see a need to stomp the water down too".


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 Post subject: Re: Tamping Tender Water
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:11 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2094
Location: Northern Illinois
Years of filling my thermos has taught me that when poured fast, coffee entrains quite a bit of air... so if you stop when the foam is where the bottom of the plug will go, there will be a bit of wasted space when the foam settles. The proper technique it to fill it 'til the foam is at the top of the neck; when the foam settles, there will be room for the plug. I would imagine the same holds true with tenders.

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 Post subject: Re: Tamping Tender Water
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:45 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:27 am
Posts: 389
Location: Winters, TX
I suspect that this urban legend started around the same time as automobiles with pressurized cooling systems came into being. When filling a car radiator with the engine off, you do need to fill it, wait for the air to bubble out, then fill it again. Smart aleck engineers probably referred to that method when telling gullible young firemen to "fill 'er up." Sort of like how people bought DVD Rewinders when DVD's first came out.


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 Post subject: Re: Tamping Tender Water
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:56 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:35 pm
Posts: 67
Dennis Storzek wrote:
Years of filling my thermos has taught me that when poured fast, coffee entrains quite a bit of air... so if you stop when the foam is where the bottom of the plug will go, there will be a bit of wasted space when the foam settles. The proper technique it to fill it 'til the foam is at the top of the neck; when the foam settles, there will be room for the plug. I would imagine the same holds true with tenders.


If the water foams that much going into the tender, its probably not going to do very well in the boiler.


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 Post subject: Re: Tamping Tender Water
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:21 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
Posts: 1483
Location: Southern California
I work in the water industry and air coming out of solution is a known situation.

Often the air is introduced at a pump or some other interface. Have you ever seen a glass of water filled from your faucet that has a milky appearance -- that is tiny air bubbles in the water. If you let it set it will clear up from the bottom up -- that is the air leaving the solution. Or have you ever noticed the bubbles that form and then quickly disappear when you are filling a sauce pan (or a pail).

This also happens in the water pipeline. The tiny bubbles combine and go to the top of the water pipe and finds its way to high points in the pipeline. At the high points an air relief/release valve is installed; these have a float that when enough air accumulates a vent is open to allow the air to exit. If the air is not released more air will accumulate and reduce the space available for water to flow and could eventually totally obstruct the flow of water.

Water utilities also install air release valves for similar purposes: allow air to exit the pipeline when the line is filled after construction or after de-watering for maintenance work. Also most of these valves will open to allow air to enter the pipe if there is a main break.

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 Post subject: Re: Tamping Tender Water
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:11 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 247
Well, can't talk much about "tamping" the water down in the tender tank, but....

My father caught a passenger train run in the winter as a fireman back in the 40's on the NYC. After pulling into a station (Buffalo NY or maybe Rochester) the engineer instructed Dad to go back to the baggage car and ask them if they "Had enough steam for their fish" ???

Dad was sure the "old head" was pulling his leg, but he went back and asked "do you have enough steam for your fish"..... The baggage man opened the door of the baggage car and sure enough there where tanks of live fish (carp headed to NYC for religious holidays) and the live steam from the loco was used to keep the fish warm and alive during their trip to Gotham.

The NYC did have a couple of "fish" cars that where baggage cars with tanks inside to hold live fish during transit. Steam from the train line was bubbled into the fish tanks with a regulating valve to keep the water comfortable during winter train trips.

True story.

Cheers, KevinK


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 Post subject: Re: Tamping Tender Water
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:59 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:25 am
Posts: 1025
Reminds me of seeing the Nautilus on the Santa Fe back in 1969. No, not the submarine, this Nautilus was the fish tank car used by the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago to bring denizens of the deep back from the Pacific Ocean. I spotted it in LA Union Station and one of the switchmen told me that it had salt water filled tanks for the ocean fish. The trainmen called it "The Sardine Can". I think it's preserved somewhere in Illinois.

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 Post subject: Re: Tamping Tender Water
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:37 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
Posts: 1438
Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
One of the 2 "Nautilus" fish tank cars from the Shed Aquarium is preserved at a railway museum in Monticello, Ill. I heard that the cars were sometimes sent to New Orleans, La. to bring back genuine salt sea water for the exhibits, since the local Lake Michigan water was too fresh.


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 Post subject: Re: Tamping Tender Water
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:19 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
I see a few possibilities here:
1) Just a plain old joke.
2) A trick played on a new fireman
3) Something from the small gauge live steam end of the hobby, where it would make more of a difference since bubbles don't scale.
4) A serious, if frivolous question.

With a flat topped tender, you often do get a bit of air trapped in some corner, especially if the tender isn't sitting level. As others have mentioned, it's not much, and the first bit of slack action or rounding a curve will probably spill out more than you could possibly "tamp in". They tend to not be water tight on the top and even with baffles, the water still can slosh.

I understand you want to have the most water you can get just to be on the conservative side. However, if that small of a quantity of water is going to make any difference in your operations, you should probably seriously re-evaluate how often you're taking water.


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